After Jesus and his disciples had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, «Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?». He answered, «Yes, Lord, you know that I love you». And Jesus said, «Feed my lambs». A second time Jesus said to him, «Simon, son of John, do you love me?». And Peter answered, «Yes, Lord, you know that I love you». Jesus said to him, «Look after my sheep».
And a third time He said to him, «Simon, son of John, do you love me?». Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, «Do you love me?», and he said, «Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you». Jesus then said, «Feed my sheep. Truly, I say to you, when you were young you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and another will put a belt around you and lead you where you do not wish to go». Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And He added, «Follow me».
In the gospel of Jean, every post apparition of the Lord ends with a mission. This mission begins with love and ends with love. It is in this love that Jesus gave His life for us and wishes that Peter continues the mission with the same impulsion of the love for the Lord. It is important that we understand the foundation of our mission and if our life is not filled with love, then we can’t be missionaries of the Lord.
In this love of Peter there were imperfections. Jesus comes again to confirm to us that He doesn’t seek perfection, as many of us do think, rather expects our faithfulness. It is in these imperfections that we allow God to work in and through us. It is in the same imperfection of Peter, in his thrice denial, that Jesus has decided to build His Church.
Action of the day: Accept your imperfections.
«‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you’. Jesus then said, ‘Feed my sheep’»
+ Fr. Joaquim MONRÓS i Guitart
Today, we should be grateful to St. John for having left with us the evidence of an intimate dialogue between Jesus and Peter: «Simon, son of John, do you love me?», and he said, «Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you». Jesus then said, «Feed my lambs’» (Jn 21:15). —From the smallest ones, newly born to the Grace of God... you must take care, as if you were Myself... When a second time... «Jesus said to him, ‘Look after my sheep’», He is actually telling Simon Peter: —You must guide all those who follow me in my Love, and you must see to it they all have the charity ordained. Thus, through you, everyone will realize they are following Me; for it is my Will you go always first, while administering the merits that —for each one— I have gained.
«Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, ‘Do you love me?’», and he said, «Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you’» (Jn 21:17). His triple denial makes him rectify, and just remembering it, saddens him. —I truly love you despite I denied you..., you know how much I have regretted my betrayal, you know how much I found consolation by being with your Mother and brothers.
I find consolation in remembering that the Lord established the power to forgive sins that separate us, whether a little or a lot, from his Love and the love to our brothers. —I find consolation when admitting the truth of my distancing from You while feeling from your priestly lips the «I absolve you» “by way of judgment”.
We find consolation in the power of those keys Jesus Christ confers to his priests-ministers, to open again the doors to his friendship. —Lord, I see that indifference can be arranged by a more intense act of love. It makes us altogether evaluate the immense joy of the Sacrament of forgiveness to confess our sins, which are really a “lack of love”.